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As we look to exascale systems and a new generation of computing hardware begins to take shape, new software challenges have also emerged. It is therefore an exciting year for computer scientists. We must not fear the challenges ahead, but be must be willing to break the rules to achieve our exascale goals. Node architectures are rapidly changing. Every hardware company is looking for ways to squeeze out more performance per Watt. System architects are also working on ways to integrate fast networking and memory, increase parallelism, and manage heterogeneous computing elements. Building special-purpose exascale systems from this new technology will fundamentally change many parts of our system software stack. While it may be years before disruptive and emerging technology paths become clear and architectures converge on fundamental design patterns, there are many exciting areas of advanced research that can be addressed today. Other areas are yet to be explored. This presentation will focus on the areas of system software, that code that sits between the application and the hardware, that must either evolve or be reinvented to reach our computing goals.

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